Tag Archives: romaine

Gluten-Free Poultry Salads

Taco Salad with Chicken and Lime-Cilantro Dressing

Hi guys — it’s Friday, wahooo!

I am headed to Philadelphia this weekend for Travis’s 5th year college reunion (mine is next year, eek!). I am so excited to see friends and walk around my old college campus. Plus, you know I will be eating my way through the city these next few days. I had so many favorite restaurants in Philly and I can’t wait to get back to some of them!

I wanted to pop in before my trip and share a new summer recipe: a Taco Salad with Shredded Chicken and a delicious Lime-Cilantro Dressing!

Taco Salad with Shredded Chicken and Lime-Cilantro Dressing! l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

You guys know that I love to take a classic recipe and make it healthier. So why not deconstruct everyone’s beloved taco and turn it into a flavor-packed, BOMB DOT COM salad!?

Sure, taco salads are nothing new, but a good restaurant version might cost you upwards of 1,000 calories!

What, are you surprised? Those salads come swimming in cheese, fried toppings and fatty dressings. No señor, not going to fly in my book.

Taco Salad with Shredded Chicken and Lime-Cilantro Dressing! l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

In comes my Taco Salad.

It’s packed with veggies like corn and bell peppers, healthy fats from avocado, a good dose of fiber from black beans, and lean protein — shredded chicken!

The Lime-Cilantro Dressing might be my favorite part. Mannnn, is this dressing good. It SCREAMS summer with every bite.

Taco Salad with Shredded Chicken and Lime-Cilantro Dressing! l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

You have to make sure you don’t leave out the crushed tortilla chips on top — they add a necessary crunch to this monster salad.

Taco Salad with Shredded Chicken and Lime-Cilantro Dressing! l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I created this Taco Salad recipe for the Del Real Blogger Recipe Challenge and I would LOVE it if you guys could vote for me! You have to have an active Facebook page to vote, and you can vote once per day until Thursday, June 9th!

The winner gets a prize package valued at over $10,000, so help me win! 🙂 🙂

Click here to be taken to the voting page! Scroll down and click the “Vote” box on the right side of the recipe!

Thank you in advance for voting! You guys are the BEST.

Taco Salad with Shredded Chicken and Lime-Cilantro Dressing! l www.littlechefbigappetite.comDisclaimer: I was provided Del Real Shredded Chicken for the purpose of this post, but the recipe and content are all my own. Thank you for your continued support of this blog!

Taco Salad with Chicken and Lime-Cilantro Dressing
Serves: 2
For the Salad:
  • 5 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 6 oz. Shredded Chicken
  • ½ cup black beans, cooked
  • ½ cup charred corn (either frozen and defrosted or grilled on a grill)
  • 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ avocado, diced
  • 6-8 tortilla chips, crushed
Lime-Cilantro Salad Dressing:
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • pinch sugar
  1. To make the salad, divide the chopped romaine among two large salad bowls. Add half each of the shredded chicken, black beans, corn, bell pepper, and avocado to each bowl. Top each salad with crushed tortilla chips.
  2. To make the dressing, combine all dressing ingredients in a blender or mini food processor and pulse until the ingredients come together, 15-20 seconds.
  3. Dress each salad with about 2 Tablespoons of the dressing, or to taste. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed.

Gluten-Free Grilling Side Dishes

Grilled Romaine with Lemon and Parmesan

Chances are you’ll be grilling this weekend, am I right? So why not grill something a little outside the box…something that is sure to please everyone’s tastebuds: grilled romaine!

The first time I tried grilled romaine was in Philadelphia during college. The food scene in Philly is incredible and I feel so lucky that I got to experience it for four years. I actually think Philadelphia was a BIG influence on my passion for food and cooking, as it constantly encouraged me to try new cuisines and flavors.

My first grilled romaine experience was at a tiny BYOB restaurant on South St. in Philly. The romaine was a special on the menu that night and the waitress urged us to try it.  I have to admit, I was hesitant at first. Why would you grill lettuce? Wouldn’t that make it wilt or burn? Ooooooooh boy, was I wrong! It was simply incredible – charred to perfection and unlike anything I’ve ever had.

Grilled Romaine with Lemon and Parmesan Recipe. Easy to make and cooks under 10 minutes! www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Surprisingly, I haven’t had grilled romaine since that one experience in Philly. This weekend Travis and I were at Whole Foods browsing the many Fourth of July specials. There were large bunches of organic romaine on sale, so we grabbed one and threw it into our shopping cart. All of a sudden I had flashbacks to that incredible grilled romaine from college, and I knew I had to recreate it that night.

This healthy side dish couldn’t be easier! If your romaine comes with extra leafy greens on the outside, simply pull those off and save them for a salad later in the week.  Slice the romaine heart in half and brush each half with extra-virgin olive oil. Then season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and throw them on the grill for about 3 minutes total.  Without blinking an eye, you have a very low calorie side dish in a matter of minutes! I decided to add a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese for added flavor, but the romaine is simply delicious on it’s own, too.

Grilled Romaine with Lemon and Parmesan Recipe. Easy to make and cooks under 10 minutes! www.littlechefbigappetite.com

We paired our romaine with juicy grilled steak, but it would be great with burgers, chicken, fish, or whatever else you are grilling up this weekend! So easy and healthy!


Grilled Romaine with Lemon and Parmesan
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • 1 Large head of romaine lettuce
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Parmesan (grated or shredded)
  1. If your romaine has extra loose leaves on the top and outer layers, remove these leaves and save them for a salad or another use. Rinse the romaine well, making sure to remove any dirt. Cut the romaine in half, vertically.
  2. Place the romaine pieces flat side down on a large cutting board. Brush the rounded backs of the romaine with olive oil. Sprinkle with the garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Flip over and repeat on the other side.
  3. Grill the romaine on three separate sides (like a triangle): first, place the romaine flat side down on a hot grill in direct heat. After about 1 minute, turn the romaine so it lays on half of the rounded side and grill for an additional minute. Complete on the final part of the curved side. Be careful - the romaine cooks quickly so do not walk away from the grill during this process.
  4. Remove the romaine from the grill and place it on a large serving platter. Squeeze the lemon juice over the romaine and sprinkle with Parmesan. Serve immediately.